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Other names: methyl sulfonyl methane or dimethylsulfone (DMSO2)
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MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) is a compound found naturally in foods such as cow’s milk, meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables.It is an odorless breakdown product of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Its principal advocates have been Robert M. Herschler, Ph.D., and Stanley W. Jacob, M.D., of Oregon Health Sciences University. Herschler, who is a research biochemist, holds eleven patents for MSM awarded between 1981 and 1996. Jacob, a longtime advocate of using DMSO for treating arthritis, holds one patent (awarded in 1996) and has co-authored a book called The Miracle of MSM .
Herschler’s claims for MSM are not modest. The background information section of a 1985 patent, for example, states:
MSM is an ameliorating agent for a variety of pathological conditions when administered systemically and preferably orally to persons displaying symptoms of physiological response to stress, e.g., gastrointestinal distress, inflammation of the mucous membranes and allergic reactions.
In particular, it is found found that when those stress response symptoms include gastrointestinal upset, e.g., diarrhea, constipation, nausea, hyperacidity and/or epigastric pain, or inflammation of the mucous membrane, especially of the gastrointestinal and/or respiratory tract, dramatic relief from those symptoms can be achieved by the oral ingestion of MSM.
It is also found that the oral ingestion of MSM can be beneficial in treating a variety of other conditions that one would not expect to be responsive to MSM.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a method for the amelioration of physiological symptoms of stress employing MSM.
Another object is the provision of pharmaceutical compositions comprising a stress-inducing physiologically acceptable pharmaceutically active agent and a stress-relieving amount of MSM.
Other objects will be apparent to those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains.
MSM is thought to work by contributing sulfur. It’s found in capsule or tablet forms. MSM is also available as a cream or lotion, although evidence suggests it can’t be absorbed through skin.
Why Do People Use MSM?
Two small studies suggest MSM may reduce osteoarthritis pain. MSM is often combined with glucosamine in commercial arthritis products. It’s thought to work because of the sulfur, which is believed to strengthen collagen. More evidence is needed.
MSM has been proposed as a treatment for interstitial cystitis, although human studies are needed.
One small, preliminary study found that MSM resulted in quieter snoring.
MSM has been explored for cancer prevention, scleroderma, allergies and constipation.
Side Effects and Safety
Side effects with MSM are rare but may include stomach upset, headache and diarrhea. One study suggested MSM was safe for up to 12 weeks.
The safety of MSM in pregnant or nursining women, children, or people with liver or kidney disease, however, isn’t known.
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